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  1. #1
    Junior Member Leanne_92's Avatar
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    Default INFPs and listening to problems

    INFPs, how do you listen to others' problems and give advice?

    When listening to someone, I listen hard for that which is truthful which they need to hear. Sometimes phrases or sentences drop into my head and they are exactly what they need.

    I find this easier if I don't know that person all that well.

    However the more I know the person, or the more emotionally involved I get (with the person or the situation), the more this fails me. I am no longer able to "hear" what they need to hear and tell it to them. I even find myself resorting to cliches, which I hate.

    Am I the only one who does this or has this problem?

  2. #2
    heart on fire
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    IRL, I listen to a lot of personal stuff, rarely give advice. More likely to just try to steer the person's conversation around to clarify their feelings by making sympathetic and leading comments. That's all you can really do for people anyway, help them get clearer about what's really bothering them or what they want.

    Online, my Te likes to get lippy and I tell more what I think and give advice. I am not always so happy with myself over this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lacey's Avatar
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    My delivery gets worse the more emotionally involved I am. I have a tendency to get angrier, so I'm not quite as tactful. But then again, a lot of the people that come to me for advice are usually: "I did something kind of stupid, and..."

    In general though, I just lend an ear. Most people just want to vent anyway. I give "advice", but it's actually more about asking them questions to get them to see the situation in a new way, or giving them my opinion or insight...rather than an actual plan of action.

  4. #4
    is an ambi-turner BRMC117's Avatar
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    When someone wants to talk to me and vent. I know (for the most part) what they need to hear. If I know the person that I am talking to very well, it is very difficult for me to tell them what they need to hear and I will tell them what they want to hear.

  5. #5
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leanne_92 View Post
    I find this easier if I don't know that person all that well.

    However the more I know the person, or the more emotionally involved I get (with the person or the situation), the more this fails me.
    My closest family members probably see my compassionate/empathetic side the least. I think because I know them so well, I actually have a harder time giving them the benefit of the doubt, and I become more critical. I see them make the same mistakes over & over and it just frustrates me. Of course, often the problems include me since we are family, and that personal involvement always messes up my perspective. The closer someone is to me, the more it is my problem also.

    I've had people tell me to apply my own advice when I have problems because they think I'm good at finding solutions, but somehow, when it's ME, I can't see as objectively, and I'm as lost as anyone. I think my emotion begins to cloud my perspective.


    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    IRL, I listen to a lot of personal stuff, rarely give advice. More likely to just try to steer the person's conversation around to clarify their feelings by making sympathetic and leading comments. That's all you can really do for people anyway, help them get clearer about what's really bothering them or what they want.

    Online, my Te likes to get lippy and I tell more what I think and give advice. I am not always so happy with myself over this.
    I tend to steer more than advise also, particularly through questions. I mainly listen as they vent, and I try not to invalidate feelings. Even if I think something they say is wrong, I realize it's not the moment or even my place to correct them.

    If I offer "insight" it tends to be worded in a more general sense, so that it doesn't come off like an order or a criticism. I think it's important for people to come to their own conclusions, but a gentle guiding may be needed at times when they feel lost and confused. Usually, they may realize their own error through this method, which is much better than having someone give it to you straight in a blunt manner.

    I will give direct advice if asked for it though, but even then it's usually worded as suggestions to consider, or general concepts to be applied in the person's own way.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  6. #6
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    My closest family members probably see my compassionate/empathetic side the least. I think because I know them so well, I actually have a harder time giving them the benefit of the doubt, and I become more critical. I see them make the same mistakes over & over and it just frustrates me. Of course, often the problems include me since we are family, and that personal involvement always messes up my perspective. The closer someone is to me, the more it is my problem also.
    .
    Yipes! That strikes a little too close to home. :ouch: I feel a bit bad for my partner, since I think he gets some of that perfectionistic judgment that I usually reserve for myself alone. I've gotten better about that over time, but he still catches the brunt of it on occasion.

  7. #7
    I drink your milkshake. Thessaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I've had people tell me to apply my own advice when I have problems because they think I'm good at finding solutions, but somehow, when it's ME, I can't see as objectively, and I'm as lost as anyone. I think my emotion begins to cloud my perspective.
    Yes, do as I say not as I do. I am definitely guilty of that.

    I don't find people come to me for advice often, but when they do I ask them what they are really seeking. Often people just want you to support their decisions to remove some personal responsibility or they may just need someone to listen to them.

    Leanne I find that I am often more objective and critical with those close to me because I know I can be candid (if tactful) and still retain the relationship. With acquaintances/casual friendships I'm more likely to resort to cliches in exercising my Fe. I'll put social harmony above putting judicial weight on someone who I do not care intimately for any day. This is where I tend to get critical of ENFJs that always put peacekeeping above a brief confrontation that leads to personal revelation.

    I think you have to look at the situation like an NT and realize that emotionally enabling someone is the easy way out and tough love is what they'll thank you and love you meaningfully for in the end. If you believe this then you will have little difficulty telling those close to you what they need to hear.

  8. #8
    Senor Membrane
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    I usually try to get the whole picture and then suggest what different options might offer. It isn't really advising, it is more like making sure they are aware of all the consequences I can imagine.

  9. #9
    Reptilian Snuggletron's Avatar
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    I don't really like doing this since I always know there's info missing, so when I make suggestions or give advice I try not to act like it's dead accurate. If I give advice it's just there to maybe propose more options the other person didn't think of.

  10. #10
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thessaly View Post
    Yes, do as I say not as I do. I am definitely guilty of that.

    I don't find people come to me for advice often, but when they do I ask them what they are really seeking. Often people just want you to support their decisions to remove some personal responsibility or they may just need someone to listen to them.

    Leanne I find that I am often more objective and critical with those close to me because I know I can be candid (if tactful) and still retain the relationship. With acquaintances/casual friendships I'm more likely to resort to cliches in exercising my Fe. I'll put social harmony above putting judicial weight on someone who I do not care intimately for any day. This is where I tend to get critical of ENFJs that always put peacekeeping above a brief confrontation that leads to personal revelation.

    I think you have to look at the situation like an NT and realize that emotionally enabling someone is the easy way out and tough love is what they'll thank you and love you meaningfully for in the end. If you believe this then you will have little difficulty telling those close to you what they need to hear.
    I don't just tell people what they want to hear, whether they are close to me or not. I think the fact that I more critical with those close to me is NOT positive. Honestly, I am very anti "tough love" and don't find most "NT approaches" admirable. The listening and gentle guiding I do with those less close to me is more effective, and I should take the same approach with those who are close to me. Again, it's just harder because I am emotionally involved.

    For instance, a friend of mine came to me once when she was upset because she cheated on her bf. All of her other friends & even her mom were telling her she was right to do so because she was having problems with her bf. I didn't tell her that, because I thought what she did was WRONG. However, instead of pointing the finger, I just gently helped her to realize it herself, and so she told her bf & they worked it out. If this was my sister or someone closer to me, I'd probably have just lost my head and told them they are an idiot .
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

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